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Report | Gillingham 1-0 Carlisle United

Shaun Williams thunders home a 94th minute winner at the Rainham End to clinch Gills victory over promotion chasing Carlisle.

25 March 2023

Match Reports

Report | Gillingham 1-0 Carlisle United

Shaun Williams thunders home a 94th minute winner at the Rainham End to clinch Gills victory over promotion chasing Carlisle.

25 March 2023

Late drama at Priestfield as Shaun Williams clinches winner over Carlisle.

Shaun Williams capped off a man-of-the-match performance by scoring the winning goal as Gillingham beat Carlisle 1-0 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

The goal came in the closing moments of the game, as Dom Jefferies’ low ball towards the box was cleared as far as Williams, who thumped a first-time effort into the back of the net, causing bedlam around Priestfield.

Neil Harris made one change to the team that beat Crewe 2-1, as match-winner Aiden O’Brien replaced Jefferies, who dropped to the bench.

Alex MacDonald’s corner in the 13th minute caused Tomas Holy an issue. He played a low ball towards the six-yard box from the left, which O’Brien flicked goalward. It caught Holy out as he saved with his legs before the visitors cleared their lines.

MacDonald had a half-chance in the 30th minute. The ball sat nicely for the midfielder to strike the ball first time from over 20 yards out. However, it went wide of the post.

During first-half stoppage time, Gillingham had a good passage of play. Timothee Dieng played the ball towards Tom Nichols on the left. He and O’Brien linked up as they made their way into the penalty area before an attempted cross was headed away as far as Robbie McKenzie, who saw his cross claimed by Holy.


HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Carlisle United


Gills started the second half brightly and broke forward with Dieng playing the ball wide for O’Brien. The forward took it towards the penalty area on the left before laying it off for Shaun Williams on the overlap. Williams’ cross found the head of Oli Hawkins, who headed the ball into the ground. It was going wide of the target, and Nichols did well to react and recover the ball before winning a corner.

From the resulting corner, MacDonald’s ball into the box was headed over the crossbar by Hawkins.

The pressure continued as Dieng had a good opportunity. The ball was played towards Nichols down the right, and he cut the ball back into the penalty area from the byline. Dieng sent the ball goalward but could not make sufficient contact to test Holy, who comfortably got down to make the save.

MacDonald produced a huge challenge to deny Ben Barclay just after the hour. The ball into the box was cleared as far as the defender, who readied to shoot. However, MacDonald came diving in to prevent the shot as it went behind for a corner. The Carlisle players appealed for a penalty, but the referee ignored those claims.

Kristian Dennis replaced Joel Senior in the 78th minute and almost made an immediate impact. He did well to stay onside as the ball was played forward towards him. He made his way towards the penalty area before firing a shot across the goal. It was at a comfortable height for Morris, who did well to palm it away from the danger.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Williams sent the MEMS Priestfield Stadium into raptures. Jefferies played a low ball towards the near post for Tristan Abrahams to attack. A Carlisle defender did well to intervene, but the ball bounced perfectly for Williams to rifle it into the roof of the net, leaving Holy with no chance of keeping it out.


FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-0 Carlisle United


Gillingham: Morris, Alexander, Ehmer, Masterson, McKenzie, Williams, MacDonald (Lapslie 74’), Dieng, O’Brien (Jefferies 74’), Nichols (Abrahams 84’), Hawkins (Wright 90’)


Unused Substitutes: Holtam, Tutonda, Coleman

Carlisle United: Holy, Senior (Dennis 78’), Barclay, Feeney, Mellish, Armer, Guy, Gordon (Edmondson 56’), Moxon, Garner (Gibson 56’), Patrick (Robinson 78’)

Unused Substitutes: Kelly, Gibson, Whelan, McCalmont


Attendance: 6110 (475 away supporters)


Referee: Charles Breakspear

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